On Tuesday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Bulgaria must issue identity papers to the child of a same-sex couple, without requiring the country to issue a Bulgarian birth certificate, Politico reports.
The decision came after Bulgarian authorities had refused to issue a birth certificate for a child named Sara, because the country doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Born in Spain, Sara was given a birth certificate listing two mothers as parents, yet could not be granted Spanish citizenship as neither woman is Spanish (one of the women is Bulgarian, the other is from Gibraltar and therefore falls under British citizenship). The child was also denied British citizenship because under the British Nationality Act (1981), a parent can’t transfer citizenship to her daughter.
In a statement, the Court declared that member countries are “free to decide whether or not to allow marriage and parenthood for persons of the same sex under their national law.” But the Court did rule that Bulgaria had to recognize the Spanish birth certificate, basing its decision on the right of free movement for the mothers and their daughter Sara: “Member States must recognise that parent-child relationship in order to enable [the child] to exercise, with each of her parents, her right of free movement,” it went on to say.“We are thrilled about the decision and cannot wait to get Sara her documentation and finally be able to see our families after more than two years,” both mothers said in a statement released through LGBTQ+ advocacy group ILGA.